Daily Devotion for September 25, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Compassionate Lord, Your mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day. Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace, increase in knowledge; ripen for spiritual harvest. Let me this day know You as You are, love You supremely, serve You completely, admire You fully.
Through grace let my will respond to You, knowing that power to obey is not in me, but that Your free love alone enables me to serve You. Here then is my empty heart, overflow it with Your choice gifts; here is my blind understanding, chase away its mists of ignorance.
Teach me, O Lord, to dispose my deeds so that they will serve in glorifying Your holy name. Take pity, O Lord, on all Christians. Hear the desires of all who cry out to You, and deliver them from evil. Save Your servants; send them comfort, consolation in their sorrows, and Your holy mercy.
O Lord, I especially pray for those who have in any way insulted, abused and grieved me. Do not punish them for the sake of me, a sinner; but pour Your mercy upon them. O Lord; I pray to You especially for all those whom I, a sinner, insulted or tempted in word, deed, thought, knowingly or unknowingly. O Lord God, forgive us our sins and mutual offenses. Dispel from every Christian heart all indignation, suspicion, anger, remembrance of evil, quarrels, and all that might hinder and lessen brotherly love. In Christ’s holy name, I ask this,
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What verse teaches us that salvation comes only through Christ?
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”
~ George Washington Carver
Romans 4:13-17 (ESV)
The Promise Realized Through Faith
or the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
Notes on the Scripture
Faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Abraham had faith in God’s promise to him, that he and his offspring would be heir to the world.
Obviously, this did not mean temporal ownership of the world. God did actually make Abraham’s descendants owners of part of the world, in the literal sense: Canaan, the land lying between the Nile and Euphrates Rivers. But Jesus was the offspring of Abraham, legally (through Joseph), physically (through Mary), and spiritually. And to Jesus was given dominion over the world, in fulfillment of the promise to Abraham.
The question is, did Abraham’s heirs enjoy the fruits of God’s promise to Abraham by acting correctly? No, it is impossible. The kingdom of God cannot be gained by acting well, because nobody is capable of following the law. To say that righteousness comes from following the law—through the doing of good deeds—is to say that we are all condemned.
But remember: God promised. God isn’t going to break His promise by giving us laws, knowing that we will sometimes break them, and then telling us that we can have salvation if we follow them, knowing that we will fail. The idea of salvation through good deeds, i.e. by following the law, is impossible, because God is not a liar.
We have faith that God will keep His promises; we are “sure of what we hope for.” And Paul tells us that it can only be through our faith that God’s promise to us is fulfilled. God did keep his promise to Abraham, by sending Christ into the world; and with him came grace to all those who had faith.